Trumbull – Dear Dick, Lad, Marian and Dan (1) – Reply to Dick – January 9, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Dick, Lad, Marian and Dan:

‘Tis only the four of you I am writing to today, but it won’t be long now before Ced and Dave will be added to the list. Dave goes Thursday, and following my usual custom, which has happened so many times now it has almost developed into a habit, I should deliver my youngest at the well-known railroad station at Shelton to swell the ranks of Uncle Sam’s Army, and two days later I shall bid adieu to 6 foot plus Ced who departs again for the far North, with full intentions of making two stops en route, one at Texarkana to catch a glimpse of his oldest brother whom he last saw as he bid him goodbye at the Grace Line here (1939), and the second stop at Los Angeles (So. Pasadena) in order to meet his new sister-in-law; two visits which the writer confesses he would like very much to be making himself.

Ced has had an active week, spending two days in New York in which he visited the Burnham’s and Grandma, driving us all down to Pegg’s in Redding, where we had supper, and last night eating dinner with the Platt’s in Westport and showing the Alaskan slides. Last Sunday night we all went up to the Plumbs where also the Alaskan and South American movies were run off. Grandma, he said, was still mentally alert but was visibly weaker.

No letters from either Lad or Dan this week, but surprise of surprises, a letter from Dick, and a nice long letter from Marian.

In reply to yours, Dick, I want you to know how much it is appreciated. I was beginning to think you had just disowned the family. Writing letters to you month after month with never a peep in return makes one realize how a person broadcasting over the radio must feel who never gets any fan mail and doesn’t know whether anyone is listening or not or moreover doesn’t care. I am glad to have your assurance that my weekly efforts do mean something to you. I suppose it must be hard for each of you to realize that I really feel I am writing to each of you individually and not the way a newspaper editor feels when he writes for his public. I often have the feeling, when no comments are ever forthcoming to any of the topics mentioned (except of course, big events like Lad’s marriage or Ced’s homecoming), that perhaps they are really of slight interest and not worth the effort, because at times it really is difficult, as you must know from your own experience, to sit down at a regular time, whether you feel in the mood or not, and try to be interesting.

Aunt Betty Durtee

Aunt Betty Durtee

Aunt Betty is very encouraging along this line. She reads every letter after I have finished and always, in a tone of great conviction, says, “That was a very nice letter. I don’t see how you do it, Alfred.” And immediately my ego goes up a point or two and I say to myself, “Well, maybe it wasn’t so bad, at that.” Good old Ced  occasionally adds a few encouraging words and Lad and Dan keep on writing, so I give you the benefit of the doubt and keep on pounding out this stuff, hoping the fact you are away from home will add a bit of the glamour not inherent in the thing itself. It’s good to have Dick’s slant, for instance, in the following quotation:  “I miss the scenes around good old Trumbull — the walks in the woods, the Brook, every room in the house and all the people whom I have known so well. I know I could walk blindfolded through the house from top to bottom without any trouble. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been home. When I was up in Alaska it wasn’t quite so bad because I was enjoying myself and knew that I could leave for home when ever I pleased. I really don’t get to lonesome though. There is always something to occupy my time, and idleness is the chief cause of homesickness. We all work and are hoping for victory.” Aren’t we all, Dick, feeling much the same, whether at home or in the armed forces?

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter Grandpa comments about a letter from Marian and possible plans for the house when all the boys are home again. Wednesday, a letter from Lad. Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes to Grandpa – January 7 and 11, 1944

Blog - 2013.10.31 - Lad and Marian's Army Life - Wedding Pictures - Jan., 1944

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Friday – 1/7/1944

Dear Dad –

As you can see, my stationery arrived and I can’t start using it soon enough. I think it is darling, Dad – thank you so very much.

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

I’m enclosing some of the pictures we took on the day of our wedding. These were printed from Kodachrome colored slides – that’s why there is such a definite contrast of black and white – but it will give you a little idea of how we looked on that very momentous occasion. All the pictures haven’t gotten back from the printers yet. We have some of Mom and Dad with us that I’d like you to see. As soon as we get them I’ll send them to you –

Lad forwarded one of your letters to me this week, Dad. In it you mentioned that Ced was planning to go back via Los Angeles so that he could stop by and see us. Is he still planning to do so? Lad isn’t here, of course, but I’d love to have Ced stop by and say “hello” anyway. We don’t have a phone here at our house. Our landlady could take my message however, she lives right in front of us – Sycamore 9 – 5588 or my office phone is Sycamore 9 – 1333 if Ced wants to phone. I’d love to hear from him.

We had a board meeting Thursday night and I asked to be released from my contract. They were simply swell about it so I am leaving Camp Fire Girls on February 1st. I don’t mind in the least. My main objective is to get to Lad just as soon as I possibly can – ‘cause I’m sort of lost without him, Dad. A very important person in my life just isn’t here so I don’t like it here anymore!

I enjoy your letters so much Dad. I’m almost certain I know every one of you. My love and best wishes to everyone –

As always,

Marian

*************************************************

 

Marion at Pomona - smiling - in color- 1943

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Monday

Hello Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean –

I am so excited that I don’t know whether or not this is going to be a legible letter – but I know you’ll understand when I tell you that I have my train ticket and am leaving on February 2nd to join Al in Texarkana. Isn’t that wonderful !?! That’s all I’m living for now, practically, and so, of course, time is just dragging by. I’m sure they’ve put some extra days in the month of January, too, this year. I haven’t heard from Lad about a definite place to stay – he just got my letter saying when I was coming so I’ll probably hear about it this week. I don’t care if we have to live in a barn, or park in the Buick! At least I can talk to him, and see that wonderful smile of his, and see him – period. Even though we are so much luckier than so many others, I still miss him terrifically, and I’m practically ready to take off from our highest mountain peak, all by myself! But I wouldn’t leave before I had a chance to see Ced. I am so glad he is planning to stop here on his way north. I’m really looking forward to meeting him very much, Dad, I know I’m going to like him.

And incidentally, Dad, I look forward to those weekly letters of yours as eagerly as Lad does. Believe me, a very nice part of my week would be missing if I didn’t hear from you.

A matter of business, Dad. I have written to the War Dependencies Commission asking them to send my allotment check to you – when it comes will you forward it to us, please? We might be moving quite often so I wanted a permanent address to give them.

My love to all of you,

Marian

By the way, Dad – my husband tells me he sent me this stationery for Christmas – but I know you must have had something to do with it too – anyway, I like it very, very much.

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House, Then and Now. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come And Gone – November 3, 1942

 

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Nov. 3, 1942

Dear Dad: –

The news has come, and gone, – – – just like that. Here is the way it happened. We were asked to form for “chow” earlier yesterday in order to hear some announcements. They were in connection with the California shipment, of course. I was supposed to leave last night for California, with a very short stop in Trumbull. Then, before we were dismissed, a fellow came running from the Co. C headquarters with an order which stated that the order for Shipment of A. P. Guion was hereby revoked, and it also stated that new orders were to be issued sometime soon. I expect that they might come out before the week is out, but I hope not. It seems that the Army has decided to improve upon my knowledge in general or particular and is sending me to some school. My impression is that it will be either the G. M. Diesel School in Flint, Mich., or the Ford School in Dearborn. But there is nothing official in any of my ideas, so it is really up in the air at present. I was told however, that at the termination of my studies on November 21st or 22nd, I would go directly from the school to California. The departure date is again up in the air.

This new arrangement rather changed some of my plans, and now I don’t know just what to do about the car. The fellows who were to go with me had to find other means of going, and although I felt rather guilty about promising that I would take them and then having to refuse, I really could not do anything about it at all. It was something completely out of hand. Again, I meet up with something within me which says, “Never make a promise”.  (1) There are always so many unpredictable things which can occur during the time that the promise is made and the actual time of carrying it out. I think that if I get a chance to come home this weekend, I shall bring the car along, and then leave it there until something definite comes along and I can really see just what I can do. This uncertainty is sort of getting a little under my skin. I may be easy-going and all that, but I still like to know, in my own mind, just what I am going to do if I get the chance.

If there was more to this letter, I don’t have it. There isn’t even a signature, so it makes me wonder. Your guess is as good as mine.

(1) My Father took this lesson very seriously. I don’t believe he ever made a promise after that. When he was teaching me to drive, I’d ask him before dinner if we could go driving afterward, and he say, “We’ll see.” As we were finishing dinner, I’d ask again, “Can we go driving now?” He  would say, “We’ll wait and see.” He would sit down and read the paper and then he’d ask, “Judy, do you want to go driving now?” I probably replied rather sarcastically, “Of course. I’ve been asking you all evening!” Now I understand something that drove me crazy as a teen.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now. On Sunday, another Guest Post by GPCox about making a car.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Flesh and Blood (1) – An Apology And A Job Well Done – November 1, 1942

 

AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 1, 1942

Dear Flesh and Blood:

One of the first objects of this letter indicted on the first day of November is to offer atonement for having slipped up on what has been an unbroken two-year chain of weekly letters. Last Sunday my typewriter was silent. In the so-called Morning Service of the Episcopal Church, which was so large a part of my youth, there is what is called a General Confession which reads as follows: “We have erred and strayed from the ways like lost sheep; we have done those things which we ought not to have done and have left undone those things which we ought to have done and there is no health in us.” “So let it be with Caesar.”

The reason for this lapse, which the charitably inclined might label “extenuating circumstances”, lies in the fact that Sunday marked the culmination of a week of unceasing effort to turn out with a sadly crippled force of workers, sufficient multi-graph letters to help elect a Republican governor for the great little Commonwealth of Connecticut. Saturday, far into the night, witnessed Dave and his father busily working, Sunday morning Dave and Dick went to the office to add their bit while I stayed home to get a birthday dinner in celebration of my son Daniel’s natal anniversary, after which I immediately left for the office to continue again into the night the work which was to see the final touch in the production of the letter campaign. In the true Guion tradition, we finished the job and next Tuesday will, I hope, witness a favorable result to our efforts. As Lad and Dan were both home on that occasion, they probably did not greatly miss the non-receipt of the weekly letter, so perhaps this apology should point more in the direction of Alaska then southward.

Lad was again home this weekend but Dan, I learned through a letter received by Barbara, that Dan and a surveying crew have been transferred for the next few weeks to temporary headquarters at Spring Grove, Pa., where they have a job to be done. Pretty name, isn’t it? Reminds me of the song-story of the prit-ty little rabbit and the hunter and the three trees, there and there and there.

There is still no definite word as to when Lad leaves for the west, but that he is to leave is pretty well assured in his own mind. He has sought and secured permission to drive his car to the coast, being allowed mileage, and intends to take along with him at least two and possibly more fellow travelers from Aberdeen. To that end he has just bought from Arnold four new tires so that he should have no difficulty on that score in duplicating the adventure of the Willys.

I wish there were some secret potion or amulet or magic word that could induce Ced to make more frequent visits to the typewriter, sort of a letter cathartic. Reminds me of the story of Goldstein who joined the Marines but turned out to be pretty much of a dud as a soldier. Finally he was shipped to the Solomons. Perhaps the name helped some but it wasn’t long before stirring details reached home of his bravery, decorations he had received, etc. They finally asked his captain what caused the transformation. Said the captain, “I gave him a Tommy gun, a couple of revolvers, six hand grenades, a cutlass, a knife, strapped a torpedo on his back, sent him out to the front line and said, “Now Goldstein, you’re in business for yourself”.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter. On Friday, another letter from Lad concerning his plans for California.

 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come – October 16, 1942

 

Lad Guion

Blog - 2016.06.28 - Lad's letter to Grandpa - Oct. 16, 1942

Oct. 16, 1942

8:30 P.M.

Dear Dad: –

The news has come – I’m on the tentative list for California. That means that I may leave here sometime during the latter part of this month. However, this information is a military secret (?), so don’t publish the fact too freely. I expect that I’ll be able to get home, if only for a short time, before I leave. I’m making plans as though I were going, with the exception of drastic steps, but even so, in connection with that matter I mentioned last week, I’d like to ask you to wire me, via Western Union, $50. Address to Pvt. A.P. Guion, (ASN-31122058), Co. C, 2nd Bn., O.R.T.C., H.P.G., Aberdeen, Maryland. If you desire – wire collect.

Travel by private conveyance is authorized, by the Army, at three cents per mile for 2833 miles. This will not be paid however until the trip is over, but I think that if I’m successful, I’ll take three fellows plus myself at $30 apiece and that will, or should, completely cover the entire cost of the trip with a few dollars to spare.

In retribution, here is what I can think of to counterbalance what I will leave behind. I’ll see parts of the US which I have never seen, the winter weather may be better, which I will like, and there may be, and probably will be, and advancement in rank. And, another thing, I understand that there would be an O.C.S. out there. And since this will be a new set up – the restrictions will probably be a little lower, so I’ll possibly have a better chance with my voice. Anyway, I’m sort of looking forward to the change.

Well, Dad, I don’t think that I’ll be able to get home before next weekend or after that, but I’ll get home, sometime, before I leave. Remember me to all and my love to Aunt Betty.

Lad

Tomorrow through the rest of the week, two more letters from Grandpa to his three props.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (2) – A Family Round-up -February 27, 1944

 

 

OLD DOC GUION HIMSELF: On the basis of the old saying, “Physician, heal thyself”, I suppose this report would not be complete without a word as to the author. At present he is suffering from an extended case of painindeatus caused by too frequently sitting down to read letters from his patients that keep crowding into Box 7 with scarcely a let-up. This, however, is only during the day. He starts the morning right and ends up in a happy frame of mind before retiring by inspecting his bureau on which, side-by-side, stant photographs of his two daughters-in-law — one of them a California gift and the other a Valentine.

Hints to toilers on the homefront. Every so often we have the urge to use the mail facilities Uncle Sam has provided to supplement the weekly letter by some little trinket as a token of our thought of you and naturally the thought pops up, “What shall it be?” And then we try to think back on what has been previously sent and how acceptable it was and the only clue we can recall are the words, “Your package arrived O.K..” Lots of help in that, isn’t there? So you can imagine my delight when letters arrived simultaneously from each of you boys giving me just the answers I wanted. I quote from Lad: “That cloth you sent to shine up my rifle and other hardware with was undoubtedly well intended but in your ignorance you didn’t know that the Army doesn’t allow us to use anything of that sort.” From Dan: “Those playing cards with my initials on them, I am sorry to say, are just cluttering up my pack. In the first place, I don’t get time to play, even solitaire, and in the second place, I wouldn’t play if I had the time. Thanks just the same”. From Dick: “Now what do you suppose a soldier could do with a dinky little round knife and nail file? That might be O.K. down Trumbull way for civilian use, but sorry, Dad, it’s pretty useless here.” Well, boys, that’s fine. Just what I wanted to know, and then when your letter continues with, “but, what I would like to have which I can’t get here is some, etc., etc.,” it just finished off with the right note. Why not make the dream come true? We all learn by experience but experience won’t help if it’s tongue-tied.

A postal from Ced en route written from St. Louis, 6 PM reports a comfortable trip that far. From my timetable he should have reached Texarkana very early Monday morning. However one of those formal Army change of notice cards from Lad dated February 20 informed me his new address was Pomona, and I am waiting to hear again from Ced as to whether or not he made it. It will also be interesting to hear from Ced and Lad and Marian as to their get together after all these years.

Time out  –  the furnace sheared a pin

2 hours later – after much effort the pin has been restored but in the meantime the fire has gone out, so I’ll just rather abruptly bring this missive to a close, get something to eat, light the fire and then I’ll really need a bath, which I shall duly take.

So long then, from

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (1) – A Family Round-up – February 27, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. February 27, 1944

Rx

Dear Patients:

Old Doc Guion finds that with his patients so widely scattered he is unable to make regular calls in his old horse and buggy and must perforce issue courses of treatment and prescriptions in bulletin form.

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

LAD: Symptoms: fever and high blood pressure due to rapid change of climate and flitting from California to Texas and back again in too rapid succession. There is also danger of having chest sticking out too far due to newly contracted disease called T/3 in Army circles, which can be recognized by four stripes on the arm between wrist and elbow.

Basis for above conclusion: telegram dated February 25th from Pomona, Calif., as follows: “Hold everything. New address T/3 APG, PO Box 491, Pomona, Calif. notice new prefix. Now carry four stripes.”

Treatment: Suggest remaining in one place long enough for wife to catch up with him. If usually placid nature becomes ruffled a bit by Army one-man maneuvers, try reading Kipling‘s IF at frequent intervals.

Marian (Irwin) Guion

MARIAN: Symptoms: mental hallucinations of wife in pursuit of husband

Treatment: Make it sort of a game idea, round the world tour, etc., arriving at one port to find the other fellow just left a jump ahead of you. Try reading Evangeline between stops. Take frequent doses of “a sense of humor”.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

DAN: Symptoms: rather severe case of tempus fugit accompanied by partial paralysis of the writing finger.

Treatment: Make note to query Gen. Rogers if good conduct medal additional award can be issued to soldiers who write home more frequently than once a month. Care should be exercised in applying this treatment, being sure not to make doses to strong as up to the present, patient has been quite regular and this may be but a temporary lapse due perhaps to some unavoidable circumstance.

Cedric Duryee Guion

CED: Symptoms: sort of mental germ carrier. This is rather a clear case of contradictory manifestations. Frequently and in numerous places there are strong clusters of regret at his departure surrounded by deep layers of pleasant recollections of many kindnesses and accomplishments of things needing to be done. As one of my daughter-in-law’s expressed it, she never knew anyone so willing to put themselves out to do things for others.

Treatment: Apparently incurable.

DICK: Symptoms: recurring attacks of awayfromhomeitis.

Treatment: His is an extremely difficult malady to treat from a distance of more than a few feet. Soft arms in the vicinity of the collarbone with plentiful applications of lipstick judiciously supplied by the proper party is said to affect wonderful cures promptly. Meantime equestrian sports like polo and horse racing with one’s own mount and occasional letters to old Doc Guion should cause enough mental anguish to take one’s mind off his troubles.

DAVE: Symptoms: a rather acute attack of busyitis, which being quite fresh, hit the patient particularly hard. He is at present resting rather comfortablyon a Beautyrest mattress in private ward 31409102, Co. B, 28th Sig. Trng. Bn., CSCRTC, Camp Crowder, Mo., in charge of a pretty nurse. Apparently has time only to hang up coats as he has requested coat hangers to be rushed to him immediately. Suffers from occasional flights of fancy and thinking his older brother and wife are only 200 miles from his camp whereas a portion at least has returned to California (see first paragraph).

Tomorrow the 2nd half of this letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion